Restoring Peace

This is what I’ve got at the moment. It’s a work in progress, if you can see things to add or fine tune, please do pile in to the comments section.

1) Recognise the problem. A peace that is based on pretending all is well, is an illusion and not worth having. Name it, admit it, call it what it is. If this makes you feel hurt and angry, then let that wash over you. If possible, try not to go and vent that at someone, even if you think it was their fault. (No, my track record is not great on that score.)

2) Work out how the problem came to be. Try not to take assumptions into this process. Look for clear, verifiable evidence. When things go wrong, there is usually a process, and it is seldom all one person’s fault. Look hard at your own behaviour and thinking, if you could have done better, own it. This will help a lot with stage three…

3) Sort out the things you have got wrong. There is no point going and getting angry with people who you feel have harmed you or caused trouble. If they did not mean it, they will be needlessly hurt, if they did, they won’t give a shit, or will use it as an opportunity to hurt you again.

4) If you say ‘I got this bit wrong’ it is easier for other people to admit their mistakes, too. If you are dealing with someone who cares about you at all, or is passably sane, starting by owning the bits you got wrong (even if it’s not having been clear enough why you were upset) opens a dialogue without being too aggressive. It is possible to move forward from here.

5) Accept that other people make mistakes. If they made those mistakes honestly, not out of malice, they will want to put things right and you can progress. If they meant to hurt you, there is nothing you can do but walk away. Genuine care and love can overcome human error. Genuinely psychotic inclinations cannot be fixed. You find out who people are when you go through this process.

Of course it would have been so much cleverer if I’d sat down at the start of last week and worked this out as a logical issue, rather than finding it through a messy process of getting things wrong, losing my temper more than once and testing several relationships to near breaking point. But this is the thing, where there is real care, even this can be worked through. People get upset, flail, lose their tempers, mess up, make poor choices, get angry for the right reasons, the wrong reasons, and all of that. We all do that to some degree. Most of the time, that can be got past, with a bit of care, a bit of willingness to drop guard, lower pride. To those of you who went through the fire with me last week, my thanks. You are much loved and valued. To those of you I need to work things through with still, please note I have a better strategy in place than I did and will probably be a lot easier to work with as a consequence. To those of you who can only do blame and anger, farewell, there is simply no time and place in my life for that.

Peace can only be restored where there is genuine good will and a true desire for peace. If you’re keeping score or want to come out winning, peace is impossible, and I’m not going to play.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

4 responses to “Restoring Peace

  • Ktula/Woodfox

    I love it. Especially that you encourage people to accept the consequences of their own actions, even if that means accepting blame where they were wrong. Too often we play the victim role in this society and focus on forgiving those that wronged us (a valuable thing, for sure) but we forget what to do after that, and that is accepting our own role and learning to forgive ourselves. Sometimes the person who has been wronged perceives themselves as having been on the right side of things, which isn’t always the case. It’s not usually so simple and often the one we think has wronged us has themselves been wronged. Being a big enough person to accept one’s own role in a given situation and say I’m Sorry is hard, but gets easier with practice. I am grateful for the times I’ve had to learn this one (over and over).

  • ladyimbrium

    This is very even handed. I like it.

  • Raven Seven

    Having been in a not dissimilar situation myself last year I decided just to let go. My criteria was ‘who would contact me to say “How are you?”‘ I felt that by letting go I would not upset anyone as nothing would be said and that my real friends would get in touch in any case. And, lo and behold, out of ten people, four contacted me to ask how I was. The rest, including friends of 35 years, I never heard from again. So the long and the short of it was that it was my efforts that had been holding those friendships together. Whilst being a bitter pill, it did teach me who wanted me in their lives. And do you know what, to this day nothing untoward has been said by anyone about anything. Weird world!

    • Nimue Brown

      Some of us (well, me at any rate) are far too easily convinced that we aren’t wanted, which complicates matters, but where you know your people I can see the method you’ve taken would perhaps take you forward into relationships that are not so high maintenance.

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